Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1986;12(3):203-209    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.2157 | Issue date: Jun 1986

A case-referent study of lung cancer, occupational exposures and smoking. II. Role of asbestos exposure.

by Kjuus H, Skjaerven R, Langard S, Lien JT, Aamodt T

In a hospital-based case-referent study of 176 incident lung cancer cases, ascertained during a five-year period from two county hospitals, the role of asbestos exposure and smoking has been studied. Information on asbestos exposure was obtained from personal interviews, and allocated to four exposure categories, according to the intensity and duration of the exposure. Twenty-five percent of the cases and 10% of the referents had been moderately to heavily exposed to asbestos during their working career. A statistically significant trend in risk ratio related to the degree of exposure was observed, with a more than fourfold risk among the heavily exposed. The strongest association was found between asbestos exposure and small cell carcinoma, and the weakest association between asbestos exposure and adenocarcinoma. Very high risk ratios were observed among asbestos-exposed subjects who were heavy smokers, and the interaction observed between asbestos and smoking conformed more closely to a multiplicative model than to an additive one. The results suggest that the observed association between lung cancer and occupational exposures in this study was, to a large extent, due to asbestos exposure. Information on such exposure was missing in 90% of the medical records of these patients.